The United Kingdom, composed of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is really four countries in one. Each country has its own unique atmosphere and culture. Journey to England to see the home of the Queen, visit Scotland for its rugged highlands, go castle-hopping in the Welsh hills and discover the story of a famously ill-fated ocean liner in the Northern Irish shipyard where it was constructed.
Visit London, the nation’s capital, to discover a fast-paced world of booming business and instantly recognizable attractions such as Buckingham Palace. Take a spin on the London Eye Ferris wheel overlooking Big Ben, walk along Southbank to listen to street performers and watch boats cruise by on the Thames. Go shopping in Covent Garden and see a musical or play in the West End.
To the north of England is Scotland, known for its friendly locals, delicious whisky and incredible scenery. Explore the former royal residence of Edinburgh Castle, which towers over the country’s capital, Edinburgh, and immerse yourself in the art and music scene of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. In the winter, take a trip to the north of Scotland’s mountainous region for thrilling skiing in Glencoe.
Wales occupies the westernmost portion of the island of Great Britain and is a playground for nature lovers. Go hiking in national parks such as Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast. Signs may be in both Welsh and English, with Welsh dominating in northern Wales and English being more popular in the south.
A trip to the United Kingdom isn’t complete without exploring Northern Ireland. Visit the Titanic Experience in the capital of Belfast to learn more about the cruise vessel that tragically sunk after hitting an iceberg in 1912.
To get to the U.K., fly into any of the country’s international airports. London is home to several airports, though other cities, including Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Bristol, also have international airports of their own.
After exploring the mainland, head to one of the smaller offshore islands such as the Isle of Wight for unparalleled natural beauty and remote wilderness.